Coming towards the end of 2013, do you wonder about how your salary adjustment will be like going into next year?

In a report released by Hay Group, a global management consultancy, said Singapore workers can expect only prudent pay rises this year, with a less than optimistic forecast for 2014. In two other separate surveys by human resource consulting firms ECA International and Towers Watson, they also found that companies here are likely to give employees an average salary increase of 4.5 percent next year. This was close to the former’s estimate of 4.4 percent average pay increase forecast.

According to the latest Salary Trends survey by ECA International, a provider of knowledge, information and technology for the management and assignment of employees around the world, employees in Singapore can expect to see their salaries increase by an average of 4.5 per cent for a third consecutive year.

Despite the relatively low salary increment for Singapore, Asia stands out as the region where employees will see the highest real-wage increases. After inflation, wages there will rise about 3.2 percent whereas the global average is just 1.8 percent.

Looking at the different sectors, those working for the banking and insurance industry can expect the highest salary jump of 5.7 per cent on average in 2013, among the sectors Hay Group surveyed. The second-largest pay hike would be the oil and gas sector's average of 5.6 per cent, followed by the technology sector, whose workers can expect a 5.5 per cent increase.

But in the coming year, financial services professionals can expect a more modest salary increment. The banking and insurance sector is expected to decline to third place with a forecast average salary increase of 4.5 per cent. It is instead the consumer goods sector that is expected to take the lead next year with pay hikes averaging 5 per cent. The oil and gas and industrial goods sectors could see the second-largest average pay jump of 4.7 per cent.

The Hay Group report also showed that the top employee groups in high demand are Junior Professionals (35 percent), Middle Management (34 percent) and Clerical/Operations (25 percent).

Breaking down into job functions, the key focuses of recruitment is on Engineering (13 percent) and Sales (11 percent) after which jobs in Administration/Support Service, Customer Service, Finance & Accounting and Marketing will be next in line.

The report also found that the average variable bonus payout, which is performance based and excludes the annual wage supplement, is 2.4 months for 2013. This is expected to decline to 2.2 months in 2014.

As a popular saying goes, “It’s not how much you earn, but how much you save,” Are you likely to save more next year, given a lower increment forecast? 

Lek Sin Yan